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FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps


Introduction to Flood Insurance Rate Maps

In September 1984, unincorporated Lee County joined the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The NFIP establishes flood zones and base flood elevations to set flood insurance premiums.  It also establishes construction standards for buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area, commonly called the FEMA floodplain.  The NFIP generally requires a flood insurance policy for any property in the SFHA that is covered by a mortgage, because most financial institutions are backed by federal insurance.

The cities of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel, and the Town of Fort Myers Beach independently participate in the NFIP.  Residents of those areas must obtain flood information from those municipalities.

Residents of unincorporated Lee County can use this Web site to:


History of Flood Mapping in Unincorporated Lee County 

Since the first maps were adopted in Lee County in 1984, FEMA has occasionally updated portions of the maps.  In 2006, FEMA proposed new flood maps for the entire county as part of a nationwide map modernization.  These new maps included previously unmapped areas and also established new floodways.  Floodways are areas along rivers, creeks, canals and other natural watercourses in the SFHA.  Within these floodways, there are additional regulations governing construction and the placement of fill.

Lee County hosted a public open house Oct. 25, 2006 to reveal these preliminary maps to the public. Representatives of FEMA attended and discussed map modification with about 250 people.

On Jan. 31, 2007, Lee County, the city of Sanibel, the Town of Fort Myers Beach, and several private property owners appealed specific map panels.  These appeals generally asked FEMA to reduce areas included in the regulatory floodways and in coastal hazard areas.  These appeals changed 76 of the 155 map panels.  The final maps became effective Aug. 28, 2008.

Contact a Floodplain Manager